Timings Of Making Cakes

Business By peeweeontour Updated 2 Sep 2013 , 9:39pm by howsweet

peeweeontour Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 11:37am
post #1 of 7

Hello

 

I don't have a cake business at the moment, its just a hobby but I am considering starting it as a business (after a lot more practice, I am a newbie) .  I have read a lot about pricing and understand how to do it, but my main issue at the moment is that it takes me SO long to do a cake.  Obviously as I improved I would get quicker (hopefully) but I wanted to have some idea of how long it would take a professional to do a cake so I can estimate if my pricing is totally off or about right.

 

For example this cake - 8 inch triple layer lemon sponge cake, took me about 10 hours to complete. Is anyone more experienced able to give me an estimate of how long it would take them? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks in advance

6 replies
as you wish Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 11:55am
post #2 of 7

AYour cake looks great! Very nice. I would expect to take four hours for a cake lke that one. One hour for mixing up, baking, clean up; two hours for colouring fondant, making decorations; one hour for putting it all together. I might take less time, but four hours is what I would base my price on. You will certainly get faster the more you practice. I think you are off to a great start!

Crazy-Gray Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 12:13pm
post #3 of 7

I'd say 6 hrs realistically for me but I'd say it was only last year a cake like that would have taken me 10 hours. I think your design is great! The composition is really wonderful :-)

kikiandkyle Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 2:57pm
post #4 of 7

AThat's a beautiful cake, I think 4 hours is probably about right too.

What do you think took the most time? Did you spend ages trying to cut your cakes level and then smoothing out your buttercream or did you spend most of the time on the intricate details on top? There are lots of ways to speed yourself up, especially when you're working on more cakes at a time. Having your fondant pre-colored, making up large batches of buttercream, having more tools etc. You will get there over time!

howsweet Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 3:50pm
post #5 of 7

You do lovely clean work!  I would charge about $245 US for that cake, but it would be a little more balanced in terms of composition. I gave about two and a half hours to the sugar work and decorations. If you had done the same cake several times, it would be faster,  But that's not likely to be the case.

peeweeontour Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 5:59pm
post #6 of 7

Thanks for the lovely comments.  I do need to do a lot of work though, you can't see the mistakes as clearly in the picture but there were a few things I wasn't happy with.

 

Regards the timings, so if I do decide to start a business I will work out costings based on slightly less than half of my hours, as I wouldn't want to charge clients for me being really slow!

 

kikiandkyle - thanks for the detailed feedback.  I think my baking was on time (took me about an hour), and I'm quicker now at cutting the cake and covering with buttercream and fondant.  The most time consuming part for me is making the coloured icing and the buttercream, and then the decorations.  Yes if I was doing lots of cakes I could make up larger batches of coloured icing I guess (how long do people keep this for once it has been made up?) but I just dont make enough cakes to be able to do that at the moment.

 

howsweet - I'm so not good enough to charge anywhere near that amount, but if I do start my own business I don't want to be the cheapest I want to sell a really high quality product.  So that is what I would be aiming for (although a little less where I am based, I'm not sure the market where I am would go that high).  

 

So that leads me onto another question - did people start their business before they felt their product was perfect?  Or did you do lots and lots of practice on free cakes for family and / or practice on cake dummy's at home before starting.  What if a client requests something you can't do yet. Do you say yes and learn fast or say you can't do and offer another design or the option to go elsewhere?

howsweet Posted 2 Sep 2013 , 9:39pm
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeweeontour 


 

howsweet - I'm so not good enough to charge anywhere near that amount, but if I do start my own business I don't want to be the cheapest I want to sell a really high quality product.  So that is what I would be aiming for (although a little less where I am based, I'm not sure the market where I am would go that high).  

 

So that leads me onto another question - did people start their business before they felt their product was perfect?  Or did you do lots and lots of practice on free cakes for family and / or practice on cake dummy's at home before starting.  What if a client requests something you can't do yet. Do you say yes and learn fast or say you can't do and offer another design or the option to go elsewhere?

That's a very nice cake. And I would say yes you can charge somewhere near that amount. What I would have done is just give it a bit more pizazz. I know it makes more sense to have the fellow planting some seedlings, but I would have figured out a way to have a bit more going on with that. I'd have been more inclined to have him with the purple flowers.  But not covering his face - keep the purple flowers the same size and make him a bit bigger, stick the watering cake in his hand and have him watering the flowers. Cram some wires up his bum and have him standing up mowing - that sort of thing and then you're there with the pricing.

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